It has been one of the more quiet head coaching searches in recent memory. And that’s just how Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon likes it; “Can you keep a secret.”
Tallon has spent the last month and a half searching both domestically and internationally. His hunt has taken him to Germany and France, and he still isn’t close to naming the Panthers next head coach.
“We started with a big number, and we’re narrowing it down to six or seven guys,” said Tallon.
Tallon let it be known from the onset of the search, he would be thorough. He has stuck to that game plan.
“We’re in no rush, we don’t play until September, with training camp, so we are going to take our time and do the right thing,” said Tallon.
The candidate field has ranged from University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery to former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. Besides bringing a winning attitude to the locker room, Tallon has focused on candidates who are good communicators, teachers and someone with the understanding of working with analytics.
“It’s important, you have to take advantage of everything out there to make us a better team,” said Tallon.
A “modern guy” as Tallon puts it, is what he’s pursuing. Many have connected the dots to Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley fitting that mold, since Housley and Tallon have a history together dating back to their days with the Chicago Blackhawks . But Nashville’s run to the Stanley Cup Final has held Tallon back from inquiring with the Predators about speaking with Housley.
“I’m just going to wait and see what happens and when that time comes and we’ll ask permission,” said Tallon.
After an injury riddled and disappointing season, Tallon knows he has too much talent on the team to miss on his next coaching hire. His goal since the search began has been to have a head coach in place by the NHL Entry Draft beginning June 23.
“Hopefully in the next couple weeks we’ll get it down to two or three, and then get the final one prior to the draft,” said Tallon.
Next week, Tallon will attend the NHL Draft Combine and will continue the coaching search conversation. He insists he’s had positive feedback about the opening, despite the restructuring and removal of Tom Rowe.
“I’ve learned a lot about our Florida team, everyone I’ve interviewed and spoken with all want to come here, they love our team, they love our players and they love the direction were headed,” said Tallon.
You can NBC 6 sports anchor Chris Fischer’s one on one interview with Dale Tallon Sunday night at 11:30 on NBC6 Sports Final.